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Bogus IRS Agent Stiffs the Inn Marin Hotel
in Novato, California for $55K

By Gary Klien, The Marin Independent Journal, Novato, Calif.McClatchy-Tribune Regional News

January 29, 2010--A woman racked up an unpaid tab of nearly $55,000 at a Novato hotel after claiming to be a federal agent, authorities said.

Sherry Lynn Vertoch, 64, was charged in federal court this week with impersonating a federal officer to obtain a thing of value, according to court documents. A plea hearing was pending.

Vertoch had been staying at Inn Marin, a 68-room hotel at 250 Entrada Drive in Ignacio, off and on since 2002, according to an affidavit filed by John Hartman, a special agent with the U.S. Department of Treasury. On most occasions, Vertoch stayed at the hotel less than two weeks and paid in cash.

But by the time she was arrested, Vertoch had been living there approximately two years, with an outstanding bill of $54,760.29, Hartman said.

Vertoch allegedly told employees that she was an Internal Revenue Service agent who specialized in investigating large corporations, and was part of the team that took down Enron.

When the hotel's proprietors managers finally began to press Vertoch to settle her mounting tab, she allegedly claimed she was a contract employee and would not be paid until the end of her lengthy investigation.

Vertoch told the hotel management to prepare invoices for her superiors at the IRS. The hotel did so, giving the invoices directly to Vertoch so she could forward them to her higher-ups.

<>"A review of IRS personnel records reveals that Sherry Vertoch is not currently and has never been employed as an IRS employee or contractor," Hartman wrote.

Vertoch was arraigned Wednesday in U.S. District Court in San Francisco. She is in federal custody pending a detention hearing Feb. 4 before U.S. Magistrate Judge Maria-Elena James.

John Marshall, a co-owner of Inn Marin, declined to comment Thursday night.

For more Marin crime news, visit "The Underbelly" at http://blogs.marinij.com/underbelly

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To see more of The Marin Independent Journal or to subscribe to the newspaper, go to http://www.marinij.com/.

Copyright (c) 2010, The Marin Independent Journal, Novato, Calif.

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